Gossip Column: Neymar, Ronaldo, Hazard, Cole, Balotelli, Kroos

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WORLD CUP GOSSIP

Argentina World Cup winner Diego Maradona believes Brazil forward Neymar has failed to live up to expectations in the early stages of the World Cup, adding in his Times of India column that Brazil depend far too much on the 22-year-old. Goal.com

Neymar of Brazil
Neymar failed to inspire Brazil against Mexico

A revolutionary spirit was in the air after Chile's 2-0 victory over Spain as the victorious team's supporters and a host of South American friends came to jeer the World Cup exit of the champions. Guardian

Meanwhile, in Chile 300 buses were vandalised, six people were kidnapped and 40 bus drivers were assaulted in Santiago after the 2-0 victory over Spain. La Tercera (in Spanish)

And what happens when England play? Sex, heart attacks and violence apparently. Guardian

Portuguese surgeon Jose Carlos Noronha has warned Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, he is putting his career at risk by playing at the World Cup with a knee injury. nbcsports.com

England have been warned about Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Cabrillo for their Group D match with Uruguay after former manager of England's referees Keith Hackett said: "He produces cards quicker than Dynamo the magician." you-are-the-ref.com

Uruguay will be without their captain Diego Lugano, 33, in the potentially decisive match against England as the defender is suffering from a knee injury. Bild (in German)

Fifa has denied a claim from Maradona that he was prevented from attending his side's opening match in the Maracana. Daily Mail

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen says Manchester United have misused his Belgium team-mate Marouanne Fellaini - after the £27m midfielder netted a crucial goal just five minutes into his World Cup finals debut. Daily Mirror

For a player once venerated by the Spanish as "Saint Iker" this World Cup has been not so much a disaster as a desecration for goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Times (subscription)

The Concacaf nations - Mexico, United States, Costa Rica and Honduras - have outpaced every other federation at the World Cup thus far, winning three, drawing one and losing just one of their five fixtures. Times (subscription)

Greece midfielder Giannis Maniatis, 27, booked himself a flight home after a dispute during training, but was persuaded to stay. Guardian

Following admiration for their litter-collecting exploits, Japanese fans continue to be the darlings of the Brazilian media for selling unused match tickets at below face value.Guardian

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Chelsea's Eden Hazard
Chelsea's Eden Hazard has been linked with a return to France

Chelsea will not let Eden Hazard, 23, join Paris St-Germain and the French champions have all but given up hope of signing the Belgian international, says coach Laurent Blanc.RMC (in French)

Manchester United defender Alexander Buttner is leaving Old Trafford because new boss Louis van Gaal doesn't rate him. Daily Mirror

Former England left-back Ashley Cole, 33, is considering offers from AC Milan and Barcelona after being released by Chelsea. Daily Mail

Arsenal's and Liverpool's pursuit of Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has taken a hit after his agent told Radio Belgrano that the 28-year-old is already in talks with Barcelona. Talksport

West Brom boss Alan Irvine expects his new club to pull off a deal to sign former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, 31, who is currently a free agent. Express & Star

Arsenal are set to offer AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, 23, a deal worth £180,000 per week to move to Emirates Stadium this summer. Metro

Manchester United target Toni Kroos, 24, is no closer to committing his future to Bayern Munich despite the midfielder's team-mates Thomas Muller and Philipp Lahm being given new deals. Daily Mail

Everton have made an offer for Valencia midfielder Ever Banega, 25, who is also being pursued by AC Milan and Marseille. L'Equipe (in French)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants to sign midfielder Adam Lallana, 26, and defender Dejan Lovren, 24, from Southampton and is prepared to lose 23-year-old striker Fabio Borini as part of the deal. Daily Mirror

New Southampton boss Ronald Koeman wants Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall, 29, to provide competition for Artur Boruc. Daily Mirror

Tottenham are lining up a £3m bid for Sunderland's 33-year-old defender John O'Shea. Daily Telegraph

Hamburg have hijacked Newcastle's bid to sign Pierre-Michel Lasogga, 22, from Hertha Berlin with the striker keen to stay in the Bundesliga. Talksport

West Ham United have joined the race to sign Parma midfielder Marco Parolo, 29, who is currently on World Cup duty with Italy. Sport Mediaset (in Italian)

GLOBAL GOSSIP (sourced by BBC Monitoring)

Arturo Vidal of Chile
Chile and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is focused on football, not transfer speculation

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, 27, says he wants to concentrate on the World Cup with Chile and not worry about the transfer rumours linking him with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Tuttosport

Liverpool have started preliminary discussions with Bayern Munich over a proposed £16m deal for 22 year-old Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri. Bild (in German)

Real Madrid are in the market for a central defender and could make a move for Real Sociedad's 23-year-old Spanish footballer Inigo Martinez. L'Equipe (in French)

Napoli are reluctant to sell striker Gonzalo Higuan, 26, to Barcelona and are likely to demand a £55m transfer fee.As.com (in Spanish)

Real Madrid's 28 year-old defender Sergio Ramos says "excuses are for losers" after Spain were beaten 2-0 by Chile on Wednesday, adding that the loss marks the end of a cycle. As.com (in Spanish)

Juventus are currently negotiating a fee for 21 year-old Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata.Tuttosport (in Italian)

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa meme
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was in inspired form in the 0-0 draw against Brazil

Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the star of the show in El Tri's 0-0 draw with Brazil and the 28-year-old has added his own thoughts on a series depicting his heroics. Facebook

Australia goalscorer Tim Cahill, 34, marked his final ever appearance in the World Cup with some "special moments" posted on instagram, following his nation's 3-2 defeat against the Netherlands.

Robin van Persie's 93-year-old grandad has been photographed #VanPersieing - a social media trend started after the Dutch striker scored against Spain at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Secretary of State, Frans Timmermans, along with the Dutch Embassy staff in London have joined the #VanPersieing trend.

And Socceroos' star Cahill signs off with a goal that has been dubbed "the best of the World Cup" across social media. SBS.com

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott congratulated Dutchman Arjen Robben for becoming the world's fastest footballer, a title he previously held. "Robben, Congrats for beating my clocked speed but thought it looked a bit downhill," the 25-year-old tweeted.

England striker Wayne Rooney praised Manchester United team-mate Van Persie for his strike during the Netherlands' 3-2 victory over Australia. The 28-year-old tweeted: "Great finish by @Persie_official. Yes Batman."

England defender Phil Jones tweeted that Australia's controversial penalty for a cross that hit the trailing hand of Netherlands' defender Daryl Janmaat from close range should never have been. "Where does the referee expect the defender to put his arms?" the 22-year-old wrote.

AND FINALLY

Uruguay's players were woken in the middle of the night at their hotel to find insects crawling in their bed sheets, prompting sections of the nation's media to claim it was part a dirty tricks campaign by England fans. Daily Star

Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque is used to boarding the winning team's bus, which could explain why he tried to catch at lift with the Chile players after his side exited the World Cup. Metro

Englishman David Grey has appealed online for fellow Uruguay supporters to join him to watch Thursday's World Cup match without success. The 58-year-old developed a love for Uruguay based on striker Luis Suarez and the leftist ideals of the country's former guerrilla president, Jose Mujica. Guardian

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